This exercise provided courtesy of Mike Clausen, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.
Dumbbell squats are an excellent leg and full body exercise because they use a complete range of motion to train your legs, core, and upper body. Doing them on solid ground is hard enough; attempting them while balancing on a BOSU ball increases that challenge significantly. Do these regularly to increase your leg strength and improve balance and coordination.
Stand on top of the round side of a BOSU ball holding dumbbells at your side with palms inward and your feet shoulder-width apart. Position your feet so that your toes are pointed straight ahead (see Photo 1).
- From the starting position, slowly lower down to a fully squatted position, pulling your weight down through your leg muscles as you descend. Make sure your weight is evenly distributed between both feet as well as balanced across the bottom of each foot as you descend. Push your chest out very slightly in front of you to counterbalance the heavy load on your heels. As you squat down, slightly twist the dumbbells so that your palms turn to the back, and hold the dumbbells slightly out on front of you to counterbalance the heavy load on your heels (see Photos 2).
- When you have reached the depth of the squat, reverse motion and push up through your heels to return to the starting position. As you stand back up from the squat, twist the dumbbells in reverse so that your palms turn inward, and dumbbells are at your side, and you retract your shoulders as you reach the starting position (see Photos 3 and 4).
- Do your first set with the dumbbells held at your sides. For the second set, hold the dumbbells up at your shoulders with palms facing inward (see Photos 5 and 6).